I'm BACK!

Josh Clarke
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I'm BACK!

Hello everyone,

I have not been active for the last year or so due to an excessive college work-load (coupled with stress). However, I am back so I figured I should "re-introduce" myself. I am currently a Junior at a pretty nice liberal arts college, and I am pretty much a cookie-cutter "pre-med". To those who do not know, this means that I am a biology major with a minor in chemistry, but I also love math/physics. I think I am better at science/math now than I was before I stopped visiting RRS (probably because I have since taken and gotten A's-B's in Trig, Calc I, Calc II (currently taking), Developmental Biology, Molecular Biology of the Gene, General Chemistry, Chemical Equilibria, Organic Chemistry I (currently taking), and Calculus Based Physics I (currently enrolled). So if you have general science questions I can probably point you in the right direction (however there are probably more qualified people on these forums, but I know my way around certain things Laughing out loud).

As for my theistic affiliations, I am still an atheist. I personally believe that there is no God, however considering it is an unfalsifiable hypothesis we will never "know" for sure. Also, because it is unfalsifiable I couldn't care less about it. If there is a God, I want nothing to do with him/her/it because I do not feel that it could be kind/merciful and powerful (Problem of Evil, Epicurus). I am often confronted with "free-will" when I propose the problem of evil, and if that is all a god has to offer then any god and I would not get along even if one did exist.

I will reserve the rest of my rants/thoughts for more specific threads, but I feel like this introduction will give you all a general idea of who I am.

 

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 YAH!! Great to have you

 YAH!! Great to have you back!  

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mellestad
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Welcome! 

Welcome!

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


Blake
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Josh Clarke wrote:I

Josh Clarke wrote:
I personally believe that there is no God, however considering it is an unfalsifiable hypothesis we will never "know" for sure.

 

You believe that there is no "God"- I can dig that, it's perfectly reasonable...

But you have absolute dogmatic faith that the hypothesis is unfalsifiable and that we will never know for sure?

 

You seem like a nice guy, and I want to say welcome.  I'm going to be as nice as I can here, but...

This is irrational megalomania- you don't fancy yourself omniscient, do you?  Can you see the future too?  It's pretty arrogant to assume that you know for a fact that we will never know, or that it's certainly unfalsifiable.

Empirical falsifiability is generally pragmatic in nature, what is not currently falsifiable may be in the near future- but not only do you miss that, you completely ignore the logical factor of contingency as prerequisite for any theory:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contingency  --the fact that empirical falsification is irrelevant if the theory is inherently false due to logical contradiction.

 

I have more than my fair share of arrogance (I'm sure some others can attest to that), but not even I would make such a bold claim that something is and will forever be unfalsifiable- that trumps any arrogance I could ever aspire to by an astronomical margin!

Seriously, learn to science:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demarcation_problem#Demarcation_in_contemporary_scientific_method

 

Some theories prove themselves false by way of unintended contradictory implications.  Anybody who knows anything about science, logic, or even philosophy knows that an unanswered contradiction is lethal to any theory.  It's not hard to understand- why do people keep insisting that theistic claims are immune to this and jump right into empirical evidence?  You're granting them liberties they don't deserve.  You're granting them liberties that no scientific theory is ever granted.  You're granting them liberties at odds with any conceivable reality!

 

I can tell when something has a contradiction I can see- square circles, etc.- maybe your logic circuits are fried and you literally can not process the difference between internal consistency and self-contradiction?

Either way, to most people with functioning brains, it's clear when something *is* logically false.  It's only when something appears to be possible that there's a question- and therein we can never be certain that there aren't lingering contradictions hiding deep within some offshoot implications of a theory that would provide a logical means of determining absolute falsehood under every valuation unless every other possibility has been eliminated- that is, unless it *must be* logically true (and that is not exactly an easy task to accomplish).

Is Einstein's theory of relativity broken?  Well, maybe- it isn't the only 'possible' explanation, since all of the others haven't yet been demonstrably eliminated, so there might be an internal contradiction nobody has found- we'd need the logic worked out to demonstrate the contradiction, but it could be wrong in more ways than mere observational falsification.

 

If you were really open minded, then you'd be able to at least admit that you don't know if a proposition is absolutely falsifiable or not, and that you don't know if anybody knows for sure or not- that you don't know whether we will some day falsify it or not- because if you *do* know, then you can only be asserting that it is logically true or false.

 

It may very well be falsifiable today, or maybe it's not yet- maybe it's already even been proven false, and you just aren't aware?

 

Nope, according to you it is absolutely unfalsifiable, and you state this with absolute and unwavering faith because... why?

 

Believing in absolute unfalsifiability is a closed minded and irrational faith that only serves to stunt human progress- and that's not how science works.  If you had any respect for science or critical thinking, you wouldn't make such claims.

 

Now, if you're only saying that you don't know how to falsify it, or if you don't know if it's currently falsifiable- that's fine.  But why not ask instead of telling?  Express a bit of humility instead of arrogance?

 

If you plan to throw around comments like 'religion isn't falsifiable so you can't say it's true or false' with the implication that either assertion is a statement of faith, that's asking to stir up trouble- and in this case, being very *very* wrong is a distinct disadvantage for you to suffer.

Like I said, you seem like a nice guy, but I suggest you study up on what actually constitutes scientific knowledge and particularly logical falsehood, try on a bit of humility, and drop the "religion is unfalsifiable" shtick- it won't do you any favors. 

 

I hope you're one of the ones who can see sense in the matter- there are far to many people who think they can dodge the question because they believe science has nothing to say on the subject.


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 Josh, meet Blake our

 Josh, meet Blake our almost on the verge of trolling in most posts atheist.

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Hi Josh, I was told to

Hi Josh, I was told to welcome you since I am under constant fire from antitheists, too Eye-wink

While most of Blake's rants is FUD, on the most basic level possible he said something that makes sense: "Can you see the future too?"

You need to define "god" first. Not all concepts of a god are necessarily shielded from empiricism. For example, if a powerful alien being would qualify as a god, then we might be able some day to affirm the existence of a god. Your Capitalization of the word suggests that you refer to the Christian god with certain attributes (all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful). However, that's just one concept among many. And as long as the concept isn't defined in a way that it will always evade falsification, one cannot know what the future will hold.


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You and your pesky biology

You and your pesky biology and math and science, geeze, what has science ever done for humanity?

Did I think that, or type it?

Welcome back.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Athene wrote:Hi Josh, I was

Athene wrote:

Hi Josh, I was told to welcome you since I am under constant fire from antitheists, too Eye-wink

While most of Blake's rants is FUD, on the most basic level possible he said something that makes sense: "Can you see the future too?"

You need to define "god" first. Not all concepts of a god are necessarily shielded from empiricism. For example, if a powerful alien being would qualify as a god, then we might be able some day to affirm the existence of a god. Your Capitalization of the word suggests that you refer to the Christian god with certain attributes (all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful). However, that's just one concept among many. And as long as the concept isn't defined in a way that it will always evade falsification, one cannot know what the future will hold.

See, that post was only about 20% smarmy jackass.  There is hope for you yet Athene!

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Okay, fair enough, but the

Okay, fair enough, but the only point I will concede to is that I should have defined my use of the word "god". Pretty much I was referring to the modern Christian idea of God as an all knowing all powerful being.

As to the massive troll-like post insulting my intelligence - After reading your massive post... I still feel like the question of "does some sort of god/deity exist" can never be answered. I see your point in stating that I do not know the future, but the problem with this question is that it would be impossible to set up an experiment to show that there isn't some giant invisible all powerful being that floats around the universe. No mater what you could show, theist would argue with you and claim that "you cannot understand the all powerfulness-ness of God, and trying to prove/disprove his existence is futile because he will-not let you see him unless he wants to and clearly, he doesn't want to be seen". (as we all know, theist are epic-trolls of the artifact level)

The only question about any god that science will be able to address is "do we need a god to explain our observations", but to address the question of "does a god exist," is ridiculous and disgraceful to science. I would drop some wiki quotes but I don't need to. The point to religion is that it is FAITH BASED. Faith meaning that you do not KNOW nor do you need to know. If it were possible to know for sure then most religious people would probably explode (not a terrorist joke) and  it would no longer be considered a belief/faith, but it would be true/fact (if you could prove it... which you can't).

Now, if God is a giant fat guy floating around space with a magic wand telling people what to do... and we could find him... well he isn't really all powerful, is he?

 

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Josh Clarke wrote:As to the

Josh Clarke wrote:

As to the massive troll-like post insulting my intelligence - After reading your massive post...

 

Fiddlesticks, that was me being brief and polite, by comparison.  Sapient can probably confirm this.

 

Josh Clarke wrote:
I still feel like the question of "does some sort of god/deity exist" can never be answered. I see your point in stating that I do not know the future, but the problem with this question is that it would be impossible to set up an experiment to show that there isn't some giant invisible all powerful being that floats around the universe.

 

If you see my point, how can you assert that?

You're asserting not only that you know that such an experimental setup would be impossible (and by empiricism alone, nothing can be absolutely proven, so that's kind of trivial), but also that there could be no conceivable logical proof demonstrating the impossibility of those defining qualities (an ontological impossibility), that proves that such a thing does not exist in any context.

Are you rejecting logic here, and its capacity to falsify internally contradictory propositions?

Or are you asserting that you have constructed a proof that demonstrates that there are no obscure contradictions in those qualities?

 

If you're rejecting the validity of logic, I'd ask WTF you are trying to do here:

Josh Clarke wrote:
No mater what you could show, theist would argue with you and claim that "you cannot understand the all powerfulness-ness of God, and trying to prove/disprove his existence is futile because he will-not let you see him unless he wants to and clearly, he doesn't want to be seen".

If a being is all powerful, we could conclude that it could hide from us- and you could assert that logically, given the premises.  But you can't assert that if you're rejecting logic entirely- really, you can't do *anything* if you're rejecting logic, because that amounts to intellectual suicide (inability to ever make any argument, ever).  That you even attempt to string words together would amount to hypocrisy given a rejection of logic.

 

On the other hand, if you have constructed such a proof, I would love to see it.

 

Here, we'll go with this- it looks simple enough:

Josh Clarke wrote:
Pretty much I was referring to the modern Christian idea of God as an all knowing all powerful being.

 

Prove to me that there are no contradictions there.  You'll have to be exhaustive of every possible contradiction, and each of your proofs will have to be consistent with each other.

 

If you can't prove that, and you aren't rejecting logic, then where do you get off insisting that it's certainly possible that such a being exists, and that nowhere in the world exists a logical proof demonstrating a contradiction, and at no time from now until the end of the universe (if it ends) will such a proof ever be constructed?

 

Like I said, you don't even have full knowledge of the present- you certainly don't know the future.

 

 

Once upon a time, I was more like you.  I would think "hmm, omniscience- that seems like it might be possible; perhaps we can't prove that such a being doesn't exist."  But then comes along silly old Gödel with his little old incompleteness theorems- and oh!  Hmm... maybe it's not possible for a being to be omniscient- maybe there are coherent limits to information itself.  Maybe we need to have a little more humility in considering the limits of our capacity to identify logical contradictions.  Maybe we need to examine our notions of reality a little more closely.

 

Are you really going to sit there and say that omnipotence is definitely logically possible, and there could never be a proof that it isn't a coherent concept?  Are you going to sit there and ignore existing proofs that demonstrate the dubiousness of one of the very ontological characteristics you described- omniscience- and assert that it too is absolutely logically possible without a chance in all eternity of ever being demonstrated otherwise? 

 

Are you going to sit there and assert that omniscience and omnipotence are compatible with each other?  Ignoring the simple fact that if you know the future of what you're going to do, you don't have free will to do anything other than what you were already going to do and as such are ultimately impotent within the confines of your knowledge and not omnipotent at all...

 

I could go on, but if you don't get it by now, you're probably choosing not to understand it.

The bottom line is that you don't know what we can and can not prove logically, until it's been done.  You don't even know what we can and can not prove empirically given the eventual reach of human knowledge, with the possible exceptions of those confines already laid out by the incompleteness theorems.

 

Josh Clarke wrote:
The only question about any god that science will be able to address is "do we need a god to explain our observations", but to address the question of "does a god exist," is ridiculous and disgraceful to science.

 

No question about the origin and nature of our reality is ridiculous and disgraceful to science- but incidentally, logic tends to step in and save hard working scientists the trouble of addressing theories that are false by their very natures- that is, they become non-questions.  They don't even make it to the doorsteps of science because they failed at inception- that doesn't mean they can't be demonstrated to be false.  It doesn't mean that it 'isn't a question for science', but that it simply isn't a question at all- asked and answered, by its own vice of internal inconsistency.

 

Josh Clarke wrote:
The point to religion is that it is FAITH BASED.

 

Not all religions advocate fideism, but regardless of that, the fact that some believe a precept on faith doesn't mean that people who aren't delusional enough to believe that precept has not been demonstrated false are incapable of disproving the precept, or that it hasn't long been disproved, with that demonstration simply ignored out of convenience or lack of sufficient intellect.

 

Josh Clarke wrote:

If it were possible to know for sure then most religious people would probably explode (not a terrorist joke) and  it would no longer be considered a belief/faith[...]

 

And yet... it is possible, and they don't explode.  This is largely because they don't know it's possible, or they deny that fact.  Contrary to popular opinion, people can believe something that isn't true- it's actually very common.

They still consider it faith because they're ignorant- and because belief of something in spite of evidence or even proof to the contrary is considered to be a highly virtuous form of faith by the delusional individuals we speak of.


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I see tons of skeptics and

I see tons of skeptics and atheist fall for the "there is no way to disprove" fallacy.

I am sick of that.

Think about all the claims even outside of religion, that one dismisses on a daily basis without thinking about it.

None of us in reality say to ourselves "Everything is true by default because I can't prove it isn't"

NO ONE DOES THAT, not even the believers.

6 billion people DO NOT agree that everything uttered to them is true merely because of another's ability to utter it.

Being able to string letters and words together only means you have the ability to string letters and words together.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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If evidence were simply a

If evidence were simply a matter of utterance then Angelina Jolie has given me a blow job. I am real, she is real, my dick is real, and her mouth is real. So simply because I can claim it, it must be true?

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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mellestad
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Brian37 wrote:If evidence

Brian37 wrote:

If evidence were simply a matter of utterance then Angelina Jolie has given me a blow job. I am real, she is real, my dick is real, and her mouth is real. So simply because I can claim it, it must be true?

I wish.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Whimper.

 

That's a keeper...

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Athene
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Brian37 wrote:None of us in

Brian37 wrote:
None of us in reality say to ourselves "Everything is true by default because I can't prove it isn't"

But a lot of people say to themselves and to other "Everything is false by default until someone proves it isn't." This fallacy is much more common among atheists than the other one. Where's the problem in admitting that one cannot rule it out? Why do so many atheists desperately try to falsify gods or even claim that "There is no god!"? Why is this possibility of admitting non-knowing not even recognized? Just compare what you adress in this quote to what Josh Clarke actually wrote. These are two totally different statements, yet you are equating them.

 

 

mellestad wrote:
See, that post was only about 20% smarmy jackass.  There is hope for you yet Athene!

Sorry, but you shouldn't bet on me getting low enough for you to stand a chance in a rational debate. To be precise, you wouldn't even stand a chance in the flamewars if I bothered enough to fight you for having the last word. Whenever I react to flamers, it is only because they grant my slight amusement. And as soon as they fail to do so, I have no reason for paying any more attention to their rants. So don't confuse my fast fading interest in responding to trolling with a lack of persistence Eye-wink


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I won't respond to Athene,

I won't respond to Athene, but if any atheists are following this and want to see the proper response to this kind of argument, please see the private forums:  http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/27428


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Athene wrote:mellestad

Athene wrote:

mellestad wrote:
See, that post was only about 20% smarmy jackass.  There is hope for you yet Athene!

100% smarmy jackass.

 

Well then, thanks for correcting me.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


Sapient
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mellestad wrote:Brian37

mellestad wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

If evidence were simply a matter of utterance then Angelina Jolie has given me a blow job. I am real, she is real, my dick is real, and her mouth is real. So simply because I can claim it, it must be true?

I wish.

FWIW: ATHEIST!

http://www.celebatheists.com/wiki/Angelina_Jolie

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